Q13 FOX exclusive: Carroll talks AP, Purple People Eaters, and Richardson-Lockett foot race

One of the benefits of being the home of the Seahawks: Q13 FOX gets some one-on-one time with Pete Carroll every week.

Coach took a few minutes away from preparing for a huge game against the Minnesota Vikings (which you can watch at 10 a.m. Sunday on Q13 FOX) to talk to Aaron Levine about Russell Wilson, the Purple People Eaters, and who would win in a foot race between Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson.

Coach, the Seahawks have the fifth-best rush defense in the league, so how would you characterize this strength-versus-strength matchup?

Well, there’s a lot of things that match up with our two teams. They’re very much like we are. They run the football, they play defense, they’re good on special teams. That’s very similar. This matchup is a good one. If you can’t stop the run against these guys, you’re gonna be in big trouble. Adrian’s too good, and they have too much focus on running the football, so you’ve got to get that done to put the game in some kind of shape so that we can win it.

There’s so much talk about the defense stopping Adrian Peterson, but how much can early offensive success limit his effectiveness or take the Vikings out of their game plan?

Oh yeah, if you can get way ahead most teams won’t wanna stick with the running game, and these guys would be challenged because they’d wanna run it anyway. If we can get that done, we will.

Last week, Doug Baldwin had three receiving touchdowns – the first Seahawks receiver to do that since 1997 – so what’s been the key for him?

Well he’s just a great competitor – he just keeps coming. And every day he works hard, every day he’s practicing to figure out how he can do things better. He’s just relentless in his competitive nature and I think just being available by working so hard and always being on point. He has great chemistry with Russell (Wilson), they really see things clearly together. All of that goes into that kind of performance.

Russell was named NFC offensive player of the week with five touchdown passes. Has there been a consistency this season, or have you seen something click the last few games?

I think we’ve been better up front, and we’ve connected with the pass-protection in a great way, and I think he’s taking advantage of that.

Patrick Lewis is part of that efficiency with the pass protection – was there a point where you saw it click for him this season as far as his command of the offensive line?

Yeah, when he got his chance, he was really ready to compete and be the communicator that you need to be at that center spot. It had been a little bit of a spot for him that he hadn’t fulfilled. He’d been a little quiet – he’s a quiet kid – and (offensive line coach Tom Cable) got it across to him how crucial it is that he takes over and become the captain of all those calls. So he’s done that beautifully and really helped us change.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has a strong defensive background. How would you compare your defensive philosophies given that you both have strong defensive backgrounds in coaching?

Well, there is a pretty strong similarity in that he really believes in base defense, as we do, and we live with our base defenses. There’s things that are different – they’ll change their coverages differently than we will – but that’s a big deal. If you really believe in your base defense, then that means you’re always coming back to it and that’s where you have to beat them. They pressure like we do – we do a lot of things, they do a lot of things – but that’s where we really are very, very similar.

The Seahawks were the first team since the Vikings to lead the league in scoring defense three straight seasons. That goes all the way back to 1969-71, the Purple People Eaters under Bud Grant. Does that have any special significance to you, given that that coach was Bud Grant?

I wish we could get to where we could do it this year, so we could do it four and they could do it three so we could whip ‘em! Those were some great days of defense. Bud would say that at one point, they had the same starters for seven years or something. Can you even imagine that in this time? You’d never see anything like that. But they had great continuity back in those days, and those guys did a great job of coaching.

Little known fact that that same week you won the Super Bowl back in New York, that same week Bud Grant’s son Mike won the high school coach of the year award. What about that coincidence?

I knew that that was happening – we ran into Mike along the way there. He’s been a great coach – he won five straight state championships, so he’s big time. He was a little punk kid when we were back there back in the day, and now he’s one of the best coaches in the country. It’s pretty cool.

Our last question comes from Twitter: Coach who’ s faster – Tyler Lockett or Paul Richardson?

Oh, you’d have to race that one out! You can’t call it – both those guys can fly. It would be a great race. I think there’s a little more track background in Paul than with Tyler, but it would be a great race – I’d love to see that.

Can we set that up at the end of the season?

We gotta get our hammies fixed and then we will.